Variety Stands By Controversial CNN Report Amid Calls For a Retraction

Variety is standing by the writer of a controversial report relating to CNN, which dropped like a bomb on the media trade this week because of a dizzying array of claims — from former CNN president Jeff Zucker searching for out buyers together with a Russian oligarch to buy the community to media reporters being within the pocket of Zucker in a combat to discredit Chris Licht as he took over.

The piece by Variety reporter Tatiana Siegel“Inside the Battle for CNN: Jeff Zucker, David Zaslav, Chris Licht, and 18 Months of Crazy Backstabbing” — prompted criticism from a few of its important topics and even calls for for a retraction.

Over the previous couple of days, the piece has been below evaluate by Variety’s editorial management.

An editor at Variety who didn’t need to go on the file to debate inside issues instructed Mediaite: “Editor in chiefs Cynthia Littleton and Ramin Setoodeh are standing strongly with Tatiana Siegel and her reporting. At the identical time they’ve been fastidiously addressing the questions concerning the story with the sources concerned and everybody talked about within the story had important time to reply earlier than our story was printed.”

Much of the criticism of the story has centered on Siegel, a reporter who has labored for Rolling Stone and the Hollywood Reporter.

Atlantic author Tim Alberta, whose bombshell story on Licht preceded his ouster from CNN, shot again at her characterizations of his reporting within the piece, writing on Twitter in a prolonged thread rebutting the piece: “If Variety had real editorial standards this piece never, ever would have published. A retraction is probably in order, but I doubt they have the stomach for it.”

Dylan Byers, a media reporter at Puck News, was talked about within the Variety’s article as a “former Zucker disciple at CNN who, by his own admission, wrote about Licht incessantly and even took a victory lap after his exit.”

On Puck’s day by day podcast, Byers additionally criticized the report, saying, “it’s not just inaccuracies…there are ways in which this whole thing seems to have been developed out of like the fictional cloth of some fever dream…every paragraph seems to have things that are just sort of wrong.”

Zucker, whose alleged makes an attempt to cobble collectively buyers for a buy of CNN from WarnerBros. Discovery is a central focus of the piece, sought a retraction from Variety this week, according to CNN’s media reporter Oliver Darcy.

On Friday, an editor’s observe was added to the story, noting the addition of statements from Atlantic author Tim Alberta and Puck co-founder Jon Kelly: “This story was updated on July 28 to reflect new statements from Kelly and Alberta.”

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